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    Talking Considering medical school (post bac) or nursing anesthesia

    Greetings, I figure this board is full of professional and intelligent women of color (love it), so I would love to hear some insight from you... I am graduating this May, and I am a little confused on my pathway. My plans as of now is to do a post bac program (my school has a direct linkage program), to get my GPA up and apply to the nearest medical school. If plan A doesn't work, I am considering nursing anesthesia. If you have any info on these two different career paths, I would love to know. I've been researching on studentdoc and nursinganesthesia websites (allnurses too), and I would love to know anything else I can know about them!


    thanks,

    HC

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    Default Re: Considering medical school (post bac) or nursing anesthesia

    I was premed a long time ago and opted out of the medical field completely. However, I would say that you should pursue medicine as a physician. If your fallback is a anesthesia nurse, toss that out and just go for becoming an anesthesiologist. It reads like the nursing path is a backup. Get rid of the backup and pursue medicine. I think, if you go for option B you'll always have that over your shoulder. As far as I know, we only live once, so don't play it safe.

    Focus in and do what you need to do to fulfill the direct linkage requirements. As I was premed back in the day I do know people who didn't have ideal GPAs, but got into med school. You might have to cast your net wider than you're thinking now. My college roommate and I went to UCLA, but she went to med school back east. I'd say be flexible. You might do much better than you think and have more choices.

    Whatever you decide, good luck. I say go for the M.D.
    "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it." - Chinese Proverb

    "Fall seven times a day, stand up eight." - Japanese Proverb

    “All truth is good, but not all truth is good to say.” - African Proverb

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    Default Re: Considering medical school (post bac) or nursing anesthesia

    What specific questions do you have? I was in medical school (withdrew about a year and a half ago), and most of my friends are physicians or residents. My sister's an anaesthesiologist so if you have specific questions there I can answer them.

    If you're school has a direct linkage after completing a post-bacc that might be your best bet. If it's not direct, you might be better served by taking more science courses independently (likely cheaper than a formal post-bacc) and dedicating your time to studying and scoring well on the MCAT. A very strong MCAT will do more for you than a strong post-bacc GPA (unless you are doing a program that comes with guaranteed admission to a medical school). If you have the time, you might also consider trying to get some good research experience during your year off. During my M2 I was a student representative for admissions interviews and I was actually surprised at the number of students that already had research (and in some cases publications or presentations) under their belt.

    MCAT trumps all though, especially if you don't have a strong gpa or come from a highly ranked undergrad. good luck

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    Default Re: Considering medical school (post bac) or nursing anesthesia

    Quote Originally Posted by Scribetastic View Post
    I was premed a long time ago and opted out of the medical field completely. However, I would say that you should pursue medicine as a physician. If your fallback is a anesthesia nurse, toss that out and just go for becoming an anesthesiologist. It reads like the nursing path is a backup. Get rid of the backup and pursue medicine. I think, if you go for option B you'll always have that over your shoulder. As far as I know, we only live once, so don't play it safe.

    Focus in and do what you need to do to fulfill the direct linkage requirements. As I was premed back in the day I do know people who didn't have ideal GPAs, but got into med school. You might have to cast your net wider than you're thinking now. My college roommate and I went to UCLA, but she went to med school back east. I'd say be flexible. You might do much better than you think and have more choices.

    Whatever you decide, good luck. I say go for the M.D.

    thanks for the advice.

    i appreciate it !


    Quote Originally Posted by Savantrice View Post
    What specific questions do you have? I was in medical school (withdrew about a year and a half ago), and most of my friends are physicians or residents. My sister's an anaesthesiologist so if you have specific questions there I can answer them.

    If you're school has a direct linkage after completing a post-bacc that might be your best bet. If it's not direct, you might be better served by taking more science courses independently (likely cheaper than a formal post-bacc) and dedicating your time to studying and scoring well on the MCAT. A very strong MCAT will do more for you than a strong post-bacc GPA (unless you are doing a program that comes with guaranteed admission to a medical school). If you have the time, you might also consider trying to get some good research experience during your year off. During my M2 I was a student representative for admissions interviews and I was actually surprised at the number of students that already had research (and in some cases publications or presentations) under their belt.

    MCAT trumps all though, especially if you don't have a strong gpa or come from a highly ranked undergrad. good luck


    Wow, thanks! I am definitely interested in a specialty but more of cardiology and not so much anesthesiology. But who knows, it might change! And yes, the post-bac program here is a direct linkage to the med school, i'll just have to fork over the cash (debt, yay). I have to take four other classes to fulfill this requirement. (Organic 1 and 11 and Physics 1 and 11) I got scared away from failing some science classes (ouch) but I got my overall GPA to a 3.2. I will not let anyone deter me from my dream of being a healthcare professional !

    Also, since the MCAT has changed, I definitely wanted to spend some time preparing for that. I have heard that a high enough MCAT will allow you to bypass shelf exams (don't know how true this is). If so, I would like to get as high as possible on that exam to make my chances better of getting in (as you stated). My GPA is already bad (but that's not as important as the MCAT).

    Questions:
    1. What is something (or things) that you wish you'd known and done before attending medical school? Like advice on time management, friendship, relationships, health etc.
    2. I know it's a lot of work, but what prepared you or would've prepared you the most for it?
    3. Do your friends regret ever going to medical school? Their professions? I have read that doctors are the most unhappy of all professions.
    4. Is there a such thing as being "smart enough" to become a doctor?
    5. Does it get easier after getting in?
    6. What is your way of distressing from such workload?

    Sorry i have so many questions. I am SO eager and curious. And might I ask, if you don't mind, is there a specific reason you left medical school?

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    Default Re: Considering medical school (post bac) or nursing anesthesia

    1. I wish I had taken a couple more of my first year science courses. I was a Literature major in undergrad, by the time I decided to pursue medicine I just took the classes I needed to apply and that's it. I felt a bit behind compared to some of my classmates who had one or more degrees in hard sciences. The most difficult course for me was physiology, so if I could do it again, I'd have at least audited a physiology course prior to matriculating.
    Time management is HUGE, you have to be very disciplined about your study schedule. If you're not, start working on that now. Having some type of workout schedule was helpful. Because I couldnt always carve out time, I'd bring my flash cards to set up on the elliptical machine....or print out the slides from histology or pathology and have them bound into a flip book so I could memorize images while I worked out. When I did weights, I'd be listening to Goljan tapes...the latter also works well for long car rides. Relationships are harder. Ideally its someone that has an equally demanding schedule so they know how to support you. You definitely need a support system. Including, ideally, a mentor. If you know the specialty you are interested in, it's helpful to try to identify a mentor in that field or close to it that can advise you from the very beginning.
    I also might have explored the National Health Service Corps or military to pay for school. I wanted to go into primary care, so there was no need for me to take out the type of loans I did.

    2. It is a lot of work, I can't stress that enough, but I'm sure you know that. I think the academic foundation and having a support system is the biggest thing. Also, get a small study group together early. Even if you are someone that works alone, its helpful to have someone to hold you accountable to meet at the library, or drill each other or what have you. It's also a good way to network, and its never too early to practice that skill. They dont stress networking enough in medicine, but it is a business like others...and networking early can help when it comes to applying for summer research and eventual residencies.

    3. Yes, I know a lot of people that regret it. Because of the debt load incurred, the sheer amount of time it takes (undergrad, medical schook, residency...possible fellowship..before training is complete), and all of the sacrifices along the way. There are a lot of other ways to make money, with less time and less debt. Also, as a woman (presumably black?) if you want to have kids you want to think seriously about making sure you cultivate time for a relationship and think about when you want to try for a kid. Most of the black women I know that got married and had kids were MD/PhDs so they had a bit more flexibility build into their schedules. Those on a traditional MD path mainly remained single or if they came in dating, broke up before graduation unfortunately. *shrug*
    All that said, medicine is a respected profession around the world. And while there is a lot of sacrifice on the front end, when you're finished training you have MUCH more job security than in other fields. You can work abroad if you like (well, certain specialties are more portable than others) and you can use an M.D. in a lot of other areas aside from clinical practice (consulting, pharmaceuticals, education, etc).
    Ultimately, happiness on the back end has to do with how realistic your expectations are on the front end.

    4. Medicine has less to do with smarts and more to do with perseverance. If you can jump the hurdles of gpa, acceptable MCAT etc...you are 'smart enough'. The smartest people in the word imo are engineers and astrophysicists not necessarily physicians.

    5. No, it does not get easier after you get in.

    6. Working out, talking to my siblings...honestly, I was almost constantly stressed. But part of that was my temperament, and the fact I had other things going on. And I left because both of my parents died in a month after my M2 started. I got really depressed, I couldnt keep up, I took a year off, came back and still could not pass all of my M2 classes. I didn't have a mentor and someone that could guide me through navigating issues with administration at my school and I crashed and burned.

    I think medicine is a great profession, and I know some physicians that love their jobs and some that hate it. As I said earlier, if you prepare and have a plan on the front end, I think you will be fine going through the process and practicing as a clinician.

    But yeah, after you get in: find a mentor, find some study buddies, and just grind.
    Last edited by Savantrice; 01-07-2016 at 05:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Considering medical school (post bac) or nursing anesthesia

    Biology undergrad
    Physiology grad - MS
    healthcare management -MBA

    I work managing business programs for clinical research nurses. I would have done RN to the MS level with MBA (vs BS). I personally would have done that route our become a Physician Assistant first. The options are endless, the flexibility is possible and the malpractice and insurance demands are minimal. I also do physician on boarding and services, have been a pharma rep for yrs and have friends that are all doctors. Many leave, are disgruntled and I'm glad I could not pass the MCAT in retrospect. One thing you should make sure you have with a science background no matter what your route is some solid business experience/ coursework. You will absolutely need it or quickly get blind sighted. Sorry to be so frank. 25+ years in, the landscape is bleak and requires science minded folk to have business acumen to survive and know how to re-invent yourself. Inbox me if you'd like to talk. I love to help guide others and discuss opportunities.Healthcare is the place to be, but to have movement and options, takes some strategic maneuvering mixing a license or two with some business skills!
    Last edited by KnottyAuthor; 01-07-2016 at 10:31 PM.
    KnottyAuthor aka Cheleski

    The Knotty Truth Series: The OG natural hair care book series on natural hair,culture & science

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  12. #7
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    Default Re: Considering medical school (post bac) or nursing anesthesia

    Quote Originally Posted by Savantrice View Post
    1. I wish I had taken a couple more of my first year science courses. I was a Literature major in undergrad, by the time I decided to pursue medicine I just took the classes I needed to apply and that's it. I felt a bit behind compared to some of my classmates who had one or more degrees in hard sciences. The most difficult course for me was physiology, so if I could do it again, I'd have at least audited a physiology course prior to matriculating.
    Time management is HUGE, you have to be very disciplined about your study schedule. If you're not, start working on that now. Having some type of workout schedule was helpful. Because I couldnt always carve out time, I'd bring my flash cards to set up on the elliptical machine....or print out the slides from histology or pathology and have them bound into a flip book so I could memorize images while I worked out. When I did weights, I'd be listening to Goljan tapes...the latter also works well for long car rides. Relationships are harder. Ideally its someone that has an equally demanding schedule so they know how to support you. You definitely need a support system. Including, ideally, a mentor. If you know the specialty you are interested in, it's helpful to try to identify a mentor in that field or close to it that can advise you from the very beginning.
    I also might have explored the National Health Service Corps or military to pay for school. I wanted to go into primary care, so there was no need for me to take out the type of loans I did.

    2. It is a lot of work, I can't stress that enough, but I'm sure you know that. I think the academic foundation and having a support system is the biggest thing. Also, get a small study group together early. Even if you are someone that works alone, its helpful to have someone to hold you accountable to meet at the library, or drill each other or what have you. It's also a good way to network, and its never too early to practice that skill. They dont stress networking enough in medicine, but it is a business like others...and networking early can help when it comes to applying for summer research and eventual residencies.

    3. Yes, I know a lot of people that regret it. Because of the debt load incurred, the sheer amount of time it takes (undergrad, medical schook, residency...possible fellowship..before training is complete), and all of the sacrifices along the way. There are a lot of other ways to make money, with less time and less debt. Also, as a woman (presumably black?) if you want to have kids you want to think seriously about making sure you cultivate time for a relationship and think about when you want to try for a kid. Most of the black women I know that got married and had kids were MD/PhDs so they had a bit more flexibility build into their schedules. Those on a traditional MD path mainly remained single or if they came in dating, broke up before graduation unfortunately. *shrug*
    All that said, medicine is a respected profession around the world. And while there is a lot of sacrifice on the front end, when you're finished training you have MUCH more job security than in other fields. You can work abroad if you like (well, certain specialties are more portable than others) and you can use an M.D. in a lot of other areas aside from clinical practice (consulting, pharmaceuticals, education, etc).
    Ultimately, happiness on the back end has to do with how realistic your expectations are on the front end.

    4. Medicine has less to do with smarts and more to do with perseverance. If you can jump the hurdles of gpa, acceptable MCAT etc...you are 'smart enough'. The smartest people in the word imo are engineers and astrophysicists not necessarily physicians.

    5. No, it does not get easier after you get in.

    6. Working out, talking to my siblings...honestly, I was almost constantly stressed. But part of that was my temperament, and the fact I had other things going on. And I left because both of my parents died in a month after my M2 started. I got really depressed, I couldnt keep up, I took a year off, came back and still could not pass all of my M2 classes. I didn't have a mentor and someone that could guide me through navigating issues with administration at my school and I crashed and burned.

    I think medicine is a great profession, and I know some physicians that love their jobs and some that hate it. As I said earlier, if you prepare and have a plan on the front end, I think you will be fine going through the process and practicing as a clinician.

    But yeah, after you get in: find a mentor, find some study buddies, and just grind.


    i seriously want to give you a hug right now! with tears in my eyes, I thank you so much for the advice! I am SO SORRY for your loss hun.,,,my parents are my WORLD, and I can only imagine!! I am so thankful for you though. Much love and happiness to you! I'll keep in touch too

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    Default Re: Considering medical school (post bac) or nursing anesthesia

    Quote Originally Posted by KnottyAuthor View Post
    Biology undergrad
    Physiology grad - MS
    healthcare management -MBA

    I work managing business programs for clinical research nurses. I would have done RN to the MS level with MBA (vs BS). I personally would have done that route our become a Physician Assistant first. The options are endless, the flexibility is possible and the malpractice and insurance demands are minimal. I also do physician on boarding and services, have been a pharma rep for yrs and have friends that are all doctors. Many leave, are disgruntled and I'm glad I could not pass the MCAT in retrospect. One thing you should make sure you have with a science background no matter what your route is some solid business experience/ coursework. You will absolutely need it or quickly get blind sighted. Sorry to be so frank. 25+ years in, the landscape is bleak and requires science minded folk to have business acumen to survive and know how to re-invent yourself. Inbox me if you'd like to talk. I love to help guide others and discuss opportunities.Healthcare is the place to be, but to have movement and options, takes some strategic maneuvering mixing a license or two with some business skills!
    shooting a PM soon..I was also considring PA but what made me consider otherwise is the amount of unlimited choices lol

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